My homeschool journey began about 4 1/2 months ago. To say I was overwhelmed with the decision would be an understatement.
Is pulling a five-year-old out of kindergarten (a la distance learning) and choosing to homeschool a better decision than just sticking it out? Is it better for my child to be have some social interaction, even if it’s only zoom meetings, than having her own mom teach her? These were some of the questions I asked myself before making the big decision- to homeschool.
A little background story, we only made it into two weeks of distance learning.
I know, you’re probably rolling your eyes. But I can honestly say those two weeks were pretty miserable. I have two younger children (ages 4 and 3) so balancing that was nearly impossible. My younger children were upset that their older sister (5) had “school” and they weren’t able to partake. The zoom meetings were exhausting and having to put timers on my phone.-like, really? Plus, I have three kids, my house is NEVER quiet. Let alone quiet enough for one kid to be on a zoom meeting 2-3 times a day. And honestly, no offense to teachers, but this distance learning is just not for everyone.
I will say I have a new found appreciation for teachers. What they are trying to accomplish is admirable, however, every student learns differently. Which is apparent even in the classroom. We all learn differently, there is no one size fits all kinda learning style which is why they teach in a variety of different methods. So there are more opportunities for lessons or topics to click.
Back to my daughter, she’s 5 and a very hands-on learner. I would definitely put her in the category of a kinesthetic learner. So distance learning was a bit of a drag. She loved seeing her teacher every day and being able to ask participate when it was her turn, but watching how bored she was during those zoom meetings was a tad depressing.
And again, my daughter is only in kindergarten and I feel like this at this stage, education should be magical. Maybe that sounds corny, but it’s true. It should be this amazing experience, not staring at a screen. Where’s the fun in that?
So after only two weeks of distance learning, we made the decision to homeschool. Well, I say we but I really mean me.
Was I any less stressed out? NOPE. It was a different kind of stress. More along the lines of, this is all on you now kinda stress. But it was definitely less stressful not having three zoom meetings a day, I’ll tell you that. And that I didn’t need to straighten up the living room every time she had one. Or that I didn’t need to shush my younger kids during those meetings. Or try to balance entertaining my younger children in another room while my kindergartener was having a meeting. And trying to run back and forth to to make sure she didn’t miss an assignment or something.
Homeschooling is definitely stressful in its own way.
It presents its own unique challenges. There’s that line, that boundary between parent and teacher. And trying your best to make it work for your child. There’s much less structure and regimen so that’s on you as a parent to make sure you’re ready to take on that responsibility. As parents, we already nag (or maybe that’s just me) so again, it’s that balance of having some structure, but also keeping your child engaged and entertained. Because the last thing you want is for it to feel like another chore.
So how’s it going? If I’m being totally honest, we have our good and bad days.
Do I love it? That’s a hard no. Do I like it? Yes, yes I do. There’s something very gratifying about homeschooling your child and seeing their progress. It’s definitely strokes your ego (kidding, but really it does). Never in a million years did I think I’d be here, but we’re making it work and making the best of this year and these times. Because these times are crazyyyyyy. I still haven’t made the decision of when she’ll be attending in-person school because COVID is running rampant in California (where I live). But who knows what the future holds. For now, I’m enjoying the experience!